Holy Spirit War Memorial Church, Auchenflower

40th Anniversary celebrated in 2009

Foundation Stone laid 12th October 1969
Consecrated to the service of Almighty God
Solemnly opened on 15th December 1969


We are approaching the 40th anniversary of:

  1. the laying of the foundation stone (which can be seen to the right of the main entrance doors) on 12th October 1969

  2. The consecration to the service of Almighty God and the Solemn opening by His Grace Archbishop Patrick May O’Donnell on Monday evening, 15th December 1969. This ceremony lasted 1 hour 45 minutes.

The consecration and opening involved several liturgical actions, as follows.

The Sisters of Mercy supported the Banyo Seminary choir who led congregation. It would appear that at least 21 hymns and antiphons were sung during the service.

Archbishop O’Donnell was supported by the then parish priest, Father Maurice Fitzgerald SJ, his assistant Father Tom Johnston SJ, the Archbishop’s Secretary Father Frank Douglas and Father Clem Hodge (Scarborough).

The reader was Mr Peter Hempenstall (a Queensland Rhodes Scholar).

The philosophy of the Second Vatican Council was reflected in the design and detailed planning. Particular emphasis has been placed on the total participation by the congregation in the Eucharistic service. Designed to accommodate 300 people with 9 rows of pews across its fan shape, the furtherest participant is only 15 metres from the altar.

Civil and Civic Pty Ltd were responsible for the design, coordination and construction of the Church in association with A Ian Ferrier and Associates. Aluminium doors and windows were by J Connolly Qld Pty Ltd. Church furnishings were by Maurie Maunsell’s Church and School Furniture. A Conn organ was provided with electronic pipes. Other suppliers were Stramit Industries, Bretts Timber, Brisbane Steel Pty Ltd, Hardies A C Facia Mould. The Shrine to Our Lady of the Way feature a copper panel into which mosaic tiles have been set to conform to the title and were executed by Mr Stan Schofield, metalworker, and Misses O’Brien, mosaic artists of New Farm.

A flood-lit tall aluminium cross dominates the tower.

Two coloured glass windows in the sanctuary honour the Patron of the Church, one showing the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, whereas the other shows tongues of fire representing the seven sacraments—the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The altar is of Helidon sandstone.

The Church cost $80,000. A similar amount has recently been spent to renew and repair portions of the roof which had become seriously rusted out under flashing.


Click here for a separate history of the Auchenflower site prior to the building of the Church

The consecration included the Archbishop appropriately vested with Amice, Alb, Cinture and violet Stole.

  1. Coming to the place of the relics, and intoning ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God one and almighty be near to aid us’ which was repeated by the Choir.

    • Vested in mitre and crosier, he goes to the front door where without mitre and crosier he sings ‘Come to my aid O God’.

    • He then processes around the outside walls of the Church while the antiphon and Psalm ‘The Lord’s house is well founded on solid rock’ (Matthew 7:25) and Psalm 86 are sung.

  2. After circling the Church externally, he approaches the front door vested with mitre and crosier, knocks three times with the crosier saying a passage from Psalm 23, ‘O Gates, lift up your heads, grow higher, ancient doors, Let him enter the King of Glory’.
    The Deacon inside says, ‘Who is he, the King of Glory?’ to which all reply, ‘He, the Lord of armies, he is the King of Glory, Open the door’.

    • The Archbishop enters, makes the sign of the Cross on the threshold with the point of his crosier, saying ‘Behold the sign of the Cross, let everything evil depart’.

    • Then in a loud voice he intones, ‘Peace be upon this house’, to which the Deacon replies ‘By your entering it’, to which all reply ‘Amen’.

  3. Reaching the sanctuary and kneeling, the ‘Litany of the Saints’ is sung.

  4. The inside walls of the Church are sprinkled with Gregorian waters in a circular fashion followed by sprinkling of the floor in the form of a cross, during which Psalms 121 & 83 are sung ‘I rejoiced when I heard them say let us go to God’s house’, and ‘How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord God of Hosts’ and saying ‘This is nothing less than a house of God, this is the gate of Heaven’ (Genesis 28:17)

  5. The next action is the blessing of the altar whereby the Archbishop dips his thumb in the Gregorian water and makes the sign of the cross on the table of the altar in five places whilst saying at each cross ‘May this altar be made holy in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’. Meanwhile, the following antiphon is sung, ‘I will go to the altar of God: praise the God of my joy’, followed by Psalm 42.

  6. A prayer of blessing is then said followed by the sprinkling of sand on the floor in the centre of the Church to form the Cross of St Andrew (10’ x 8”).

    • The Archbishop with the crosier then forms the Greek alphabet at the foot of the Cross from the left and the Latin alphabet from the right. The choir sings, ‘How awe-inspiring this place is, this is nothing less than a house of God, this is the gate of heaven’ (Genesis 28:17) followed by Psalm 47.

    • Prayers of dedication follow including the Eucharistic Prayer of Dedication.

  7. This is followed by the ceremony of the Translation of the Relics in procession during which hymns are sung, ‘O God the 1st, reward and prize; For all the Saints who from their labours rest’. Incense is blessed and the relics are then incensed.

    • The relics are placed in the sepulchre of the altar where after a prayer the choir sings, ‘Your have taken your place beneath the altar of God’ (Apoc 6:9-11), ‘The bodies of the Saints have been buried in peace: but their name lives on and on’ (Eccles 44:14).

    • Meanwhile, cement is made with Gregorian water. The cement is blessed with prayer, cement lines the stone which is placed on the sepulchre with further prayer.

  8. This now leads us to the consecration of the Church where 12 crosses marked on the walls of the Church are each in turn anointed with sacred Chrism, saying ‘May the temple be sanctified and consecrated in the name of God, Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit to the honour of God. Amen.’ During this action is taking place ‘Precious stones will be your walls; jewels will build Jerusalem towers’ (Apoc 21:18-21, Isaiah 54:11-12) as well as Psalm 147 ‘O Praise the Lord Jerusalem’.

    • The door posts are also anointed with Chrism and prayer.

  9. The altar is now anointed with Chrism in the centre and each of the four corners, saying ‘May this altar be signed, sanctified, and consecrated in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit to the honour of God’.

    • The front of the altar is anointed in 5 locations while the antiphon ‘God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above other kings’ followed by Psalm 44 ‘My heart overflows with noble words’. The altar is blessed with incense while the choir sings Apoc 8:3-4.

    • Incense is now placed on the 5 crosses on the altar table , on which is placed a small cross made of tapers which are then lit to burn the incense during which ‘Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love’ is sung, which is followed by prayer.

  10. Clergy re-vest for Mass, the altar cloths are put on. The first Mass commences:

    • Processional Hymn: ‘All the Earth Proclaims the Lord’
    • Kyrie and Gloria are sung
    • 1st Reading: Apoc 21:2-5
    • Alleluia: 4 Esdras 8, 21 and 24, Psalm 137,2
    • Gospel: Luke 19:1-10
    • Creed is sung. Response to Psalm 7 is chanted
    • Offertory: ‘O God, we give ourselves today’
    • Holy Holy Holy, Doxology, Lord’s Prayer and Lamb of God all sung
    • Communion Antiphon: Matthew 21:13 ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’ and Psalm 83 ‘How lovely is your dwelling place’
    • Recessional hymn: ‘Christ is made the sure foundation’

© Percy Hanlon


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